How Border made me discover my interest of military hardware and tactics






People learn a lot from movies and one Bollywood movie actually showed me the way I was looking for and started an interest into something which I do even today.

Year 1997, a Bollywood movie, a geographical place made famous in just three hours, a tale of heroism against all odds (not taking into consideration the various controversies around) - the 1971 war in the Battle of “Longewala”… Yes that’s Border. The blockbuster which put 120 Indian soldiers against tank regiment of 45 tanks and 2000+ soldiers heroism on the celluloid screen. Now if you’re wondering that how does one movie start an interest area, here it is.

I cannot help you Major, यहाँ सिर्फ Hunter जहाज़ हैं जो रात को नहीं लड़ सकते. I`ll be there with the 1st light of the morning.
There’s was one epic line by Jackie Shroff in the 45 minute important battle scene in the movie which started very basic question the moment assault on the screen started…Why couldn’t the hunters fight at night?? That time there was no wikipedia, no YouTube or anything which could answer my questions. Hell..It was probably the first and only war movie I had actually seen since growing up. The only memory I have of actual war is probably the BBC coverage of the Gulf War of 1991 . So for me everything I saw in border was THE thing which mesmerised me beyond anything. Somewhere around the line found my calling of interests in military hardware but I could not put a name to it even though could pinpoint it that yes, I liked this thing. In 2002, in the final year of highschool, cable TV at that time was quite common and Star movies was the key to all action. Would you believe that till then I had realised that I love everything air force but still hadn’t watched the must see movies like Top gun or Vijeta?

At the same time I got my first PC and in that era I realised that there are things called computer games which actually have a genre known as combat flight simulators. In 2001 the Owen Wilson starring Behind enemy lines released which actually gave me a very good look into the working and systems of F-18 Hornet. That was my Pandora’s box…. This was what I was waiting for. By luck just two months after I saw that movie, Star movies showed Top gun and at that night my sleep vanished. This was what I had been searching all those years, a movie which showcased fighter jet instruments, dogfighting and everything associated with jets to the limit. I was so engrossed that I saw that movie numerous times until each and every scene became etched permanently into the memory. In between I also played PC games and that actually helped me get the answer to my border question, “Why no night flying”? Some of the adversary fighter jets in the game had almost no modern systems, they were not real-time in terms of instrumentation so things would show up on the screen seconds later after it had been initiated. That was when jackpot answer as to why no night flying in the 71 war meant that the jets were not capable in terms of instrumentation, avionics and other things to do a night support mission as shown in the movie.

A closer look at the Hindi movie Vijeta brought me closer to the fighter jets of the 1980s used by the Indian air force. These are really vintage when you compare it with the modern jets of today. By then my interest had really settled permanently into the world of military hardware and tactics. An in-depth working of the systems was provided by English novel writers like Joe Webber and other authors like him where they were absolute details about dogfights, tactics, missions to the very grittiest of details in their stories. Continuing this forward coupled with my curiosity of the why of things, I delved down into the Indian wars of 65, 71, 99 and believe me I have discovered heroes in the Indian Armed Forces who have defied odds in the face of imminent danger and displayed acts of valor and supreme sacrifice.

Many of my friends and people ask me that how do I have this must knowledge of everything military and here is your answer- Border. Had it not been that movie I would have never discovered  the question of why Indian jets could not help at night and never would have subsequently ventured out for the answers of the various following questions. 

Border made me discover Behind enemy lines which discovered Top gun which discovered Vijeta , U 571, Crimson tide and a lot more movies. For a lot of serving Indian soldiers border was the movie which made them join the Indian Army and fight in Kargil just like Top gun had done the same for the US air force in 1986.


How Border made me discover my interest of military hardware and tactics How Border made me discover my interest of military hardware and tactics Reviewed by Shwetabh Mathur on 9:35:00 PM Rating: 5

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